TEHOM: Archons of the Northern Waves
This is a PbP game set in Tehom, a world where superhumans rule over city states as they battle with one another, defend humanity, and deal with fame.
Mechanically, the game will be using Mutants & Masterminds Third Edition.
Welcome to the world of Tehom. An abandoned human colony has survived thanks to the inexplicable emergence of superhuman powers within its population. These individuals, the Few, have become the rulers and leaders of large city states that dot an archipelago on this alien world.
It has been 561 years since the Garden abandoned the Tehomin, and war looms. The city state of Thaimbase is becoming a threat to all. Even worse, inhuman monsters are rising from the sea to attack humanity, trying to wipe it from the surface of Tehom.
This campaign follows heroes in the northern reaches of the archipelago (called the Set) as they seek glory and justice.
For almost two centuries, humanity has experienced peace and prosperity under a social order known as kleocracy, where the superhuman few rule city-states through neo-feudal political and economic networks. Stability was been achieved, and destructive wars were replaced by honor-bound conflicts between champions. It has been a golden age according to many.
The Kairos Covenant is an alliance of cosmopoli who wish to band together for common defense against enemies particularly those who seem antithetical to the life of humanity on Tehom. There are three specific enemies that concern the Kairos Covenant:
Nineteen years ago, Lord General Reisha Thaim came seemingly from nowhere to take over the cosmopolis of Deltaport in a swift and brutal coup d'etat. Twelve years ago, the cosmopolis now called Thaimbase began aggressive behavior toward its neighbors. It would challenge Archons to duels over minimal issues, and would resort to raiding to acquire resources it desires. Even worse, it appears that it is building a standing army of "Metamen," members of the Many who have been enhanced and psychologically linked together. He threatens open war in a way that Tehom has not seen since Warmaster Molyvdos raged across the islands.
The Dundainian Anarchy
A decade ago, three cosmopoli on the same landmass fell in a war that became a revolution. In their place stands the Dundainian Anarchy (though they call themselves a "Commune"), a polity ruled by the Many without the superhuman Few. They promote an ideology that rejects the Few as rightful rulers, and claim the Many have a right to shape destiny as much as anyone. The Anarchy is quiet, though many fear it is secretly exporting revolution. It is an ideological threat of the highest order.
Monsters have always swam and slept in the deep oceans of Tehom, but they have changed in last generation. They have turned their mindless yet vicious attention toward humanity's offshore installations, shipping lanes, and even the occasional cosmopolis. Their attacks have become more frequent, and we do not know why. While Thaimbase is a military threat, and the Anarchy is an ideological one, the Hadalians are hostile to human life and the ecosystem that supports it.
The Northern Set Today
This campaign follows the events of the Northern Set. Within the last year, three more cosmopoli (Tortuga, Sapphopolis, and AboveBoard City) have joined the Kairos Covenant. A major success, this potentially puts them in a dominant position in the region over the independent states, the venerable Beacon, and the violent Thaimbase.
Persons of the Campaign
Character & Players
- Blank Character Sheet Here
- Azad, played by Propagandor
- Bastelle, played by Alice Sara
- Elyssira Kalhisana, played by Aliexster
- Liam Carter, played by Jive Professor
- Mr. Alexander, played by Cale Knight
- Obsidian, played by Unka Josh
- Panacea, played by SquidHeadJax
- Malexia Althis, Triarch of Dolphins is one of the three rulers of the Buttonwood Triarchy. A powerful sorcery who understands the esoteric geometry of Tehom, Althis is an old man who is full of regrets, enemies, and bitterness. He wishes to retire, but does not trust any of his potential replacements as the magical Triarch. And thus, he holds on, carefully watching his inferiors while also violently defending all sorcerous interests in Buttonwood.
- Cloudmaker is one of the greatest masters of sacritech on Tehom. Using his unsurpassed abilities, he has created Kachlex City, a floating battlestation that Cloudmaker uses for both piracy and mercenary activity.
- Gemdah the Assessor is the sole proprietor of Clarified Harvest Ventures, a company that specializes is assessing economic risk and calculating the costs and profits associated with exploiting various resources. On Tehom, such a position is less like an actuary and more like a freelance East India Company: for the right price, Gemdah's corporation will acquire trading and resource rights by any means necessary.
- Gimcrack is a ritualist who specializes in making and reading foci. He generally is covered in seeming random trinkets, each serving as a charm for various spells. Though eccentric, he is a master at the arcane and how things and places may gain the attention of the Tide's Eye.
- Ioun is a vandal whose powers come from swarm of incredible strong crystals that constantly orbit him. He can use them to strike enemies at a distance, absorb incoming attacks, and other various uses.
- The Maul of Comets is a famous mercenary. Rarely seen in social or relaxed setting, he is known for a calm, controlled professionalism until a battle begins, at which point his ferocity is unmatched. His reputation for collateral damage is equally legendary: Caliban Arcology cancelled his contract after he created a larger breach than the Tentacle Pentacle did.
- Warmaster Molyvdos is a powerful Archon trapped in suspended animation as a massive computer complex attempts to cure his body of a nanotech smart-virus. The citizens of Patience expect that he will lead them into a golden age (no doubt at the expense of other cosmopoli) after he awakes. When active, Molyvdos had an array of density-control powers in addition to being a brilliant strategist and a fearsone combatant.
- Lord General Risha Thaime is a gigantic Archon who violently took control of Deltaport several years ago, renaming it Thaimbase. Violent, cruel, and surprisingly cunning, he has centralized his control over the cosmopolis.
- Marcus Steelcrow is the entrepreneurial Archon in charge of the Caliban Arcology, a massive, high stake / high reward mining operation and attached city. A normal child to a Lineage family, he returned to the Few after developing the Steelcrow Armor system. After a brief but illustrious career in the military, he went into the private sector and convinced investors to fund the creation of the Arcology. His colleagues have become the Council of the Reef, the lords of the Arcology.
- Silus, Triarch Visible is one of the three rulers of the Buttonwood Triarchy. He is relatively new to this level of politics, having spent most of his career as a trustee for the Institute, the main scientific research university and facility in the Triarchy. He is a master inventor, and he is currently busying himself with attempts to develop the infrastructure of Buttonwood.
- Ten Trial Orrin is an auxilliary mercenary who weilds the First Gun, an ancient weapon that has gained power with its reputation. He is cold, never breaks a contract, and specializes in killing Archons in fair combat. He is known for his encyclopedic database on the combat abilities of the Few, current and historical.
- Thomas the Sage. Extremely powerful wizard who was on the Stormward Council. When the Shattering began, he created Calmport as place of refuge, especially for the Many. He recruited several members of the Few to help defend the settlement in secret, so that the Many could go about their lives without worrying about the Few and their wars. He specialized in esoteric rituals that changed the face of Tehom. This was quite literal when he rose Aqua Mesa from the sea.
- Uncle Vulture is a reclusive mystic that lives within the ruins of the Fallen Horn (originally known as High Spire), one of the cosmopoli that destroyed itself in the war that created the Dundainian Anarchy. Draped in vulture imagery and symbolism, Uncle Vulture can sense destruction and death, and his pursuits are less about the politics of Tehom and more its mystical landscape. His intentions are often inscrutable.
- Vilcar, the Blooded Triarch is one of the three rulers of the Buttonwood Triarchy. A mature women at the height of her power, her family produces legacies at an impressive rate. A conservative by reflex, her primary concern at the moment is Thaimbase.
Chapter 1: And the Waves Shall Crash
- Above Board City
- PC Cosmopolis as defined by Cale Knight & Java Professor (Link)
- Aqua Mesa
- Aqua Mesa is an unnatural land formation created by Thomas the Sage, the eventual founder of Calmport. The island has no shore; rather, the entire length of its coastline is sheer cliffs. These cliffs are no shorter than fifty feet, and can be as high as 300!. Aqua Mesa City has dug a highway down to the coast and created a small artificial harbor for ships. The lands of the Mesa are still often wild, and odd things lurk in its hills…. Aqua Mesa is independent.
- Beacon is the oldest continually occupied human settlement on Tehom, and its history stretches back to the days of the Garden colonizing Tehom. It is the birthplace of Sunbringer, and therefore the birthplace of humanity’s salvation. People from Beacon like to remind others of this, especially since its power is a shadow of what it used to be. It is a conservative, guarded place that venerates history at every turn.
- Recently, its leaders have become concerned that the increasing tensions between the Kairos Covenant and Thaimbase (to say nothing of the horrific wildcard that is the Anarchy) threaten civilization to an unacceptable degree, and it has mobilized all its resources in the name of peace. However, as it is peace on Beacon’s terms, many other Archons are suspicious of its intentions.
- Bon Kar.
- A small cosmopolis that is distinctive primarily because its palace is a renovated structure from the Garden during the colonial times. Very little useful Gardentech remains, though it is still not clear what the massive tower with many floors below ground was originally built for. Bon Kar is a vassal city of Beacon, and has been since the days of the Stormward Council.
- The Buttonwood Triarchy.
- Compared to the cosmopoli of the Course, the Triarchy is quaint and respectable enough. However, compared to most of the northern Set, it is a grand city with a large population and a history of stability. It was founded originally by “progressives” from Pinnacle who believed other members of the Few beyond its aristocracy of legacies should have an opportunity to rule. However, this has not lead to an attitude of closeness between the Few and the Many. Indeed, the divide is as strong in the Triarchy as anywhere. When new members of the Few are discovered, they are taken from their Many families and put in special training schools to orient them to their new lives. Children from established lines also go to similar boarding schools where they are taught the proper role of the Few in society.
- Outside the generational aristocracy of the legacies, there is also an elaborated set of rules recognizing the power of Few who are magically inclined, and keepers, especially keepers of sacritech. The House (the legacies), the Institute (the keepers), and the Order (the wizards) often blend together, and it is possible for a single Archon to have a title in two or even all three branches, though it is an open question which affiliation is strongest for any given Archon.
- Pinnacle has maintained its influence in the Triarchy, though Srimec City has some sympathetic ears within the Institute. Its main concern, however, has become a question of who has influence in the Northern Set: the Triarchy and the Kairos Covenant, Beacon and its veneration of the old Garden, or Lord General Reisha Thaime. A proxy war has developed between the Covenant and Thaimbase, and many fear where this is going. Beacon for its part has declared neutrality and has offered its services to negotiate a peace, though many believe it is doing so as a ploy to regain some of its lost prestige.
- Calmport is a strange place founded by a strange person. When the Stormward Council shattered, Thomas the Sage founded a sanctuary for refugee Many, and this became Calmport. The strange thing about Calmport is that all its Archons live in secret; the populace does not know the true identity of the Sustainers. They all wear masks, they all have nicknames. Some, like the Highest Band, are often visible and defend the city. The lesser Archons patrol the streets and defend the populace from crime. When not in their role as Archons, the Few of Calmport masquerade as regular people living regular lives. This all seems very odd and silly to the rest of the Set, but it seems to work for Calmport.
- At least it did until Thaimbase decided it wanted access to Calmport as a refueling station. The small handful of Sustainers realized they could not withstand the Metamen, and sued for peace. Calmport is now officially allied with Thaimbase, but it is more of an occupation. While some of the Sustainers seem to have accepted this situation, others have gone completely underground and wage a guerilla war against Thaimbase, hoping their island can be free once more. To date, no one has come to their aid, out of fear of Thaimbase’s wrath.
- Dundainian Commune
- The Dundainian Commune, more commonly known as the Dundainian Anarchy, is an island that is devoid of the Few after a horrible war and ensuing civil war. The Many rule themselves here, and have developed an ideology that explicitly rejects the few as necessarily unjust. Their bark is greater than their bite, however, as they are still rebuilding from the Wasting War that created it. At the same time, they seem to be stabilizing, and the few attempts to attack the island have failed utterly. Many Archons worry whether or not anarchist are sowing revolution among the Many in their cosmopolis. Some are becoming paranoid and establishing restrictive policies that if anything make the Anarchy’s point for them.
- Eayemess is a small cosmopolis at the base of a very large mountain. The Height, as it is known, is the tallest mountain on Tehom. At night, strange lights are visible at its top, crackling beneath its permanent cloud cover. The Archons of Eayemess do not answer questions about the Height. Eayemess is aligned with Beacon.
- Fieldgate was levelled during the Shattering and it never truly recovered. It is a humble cosmopolis whose primary industry is agriculture: their farm technicians control vast automated farms across the entire island. It is ruled by a council of keepers who possess ritual items of those who founded the city long, long ago. Fieldgate was recently admitted into the Kairos Covenant, mainly as a strategic move rather than to establish a powerful new ally.
- Greenstop Lodge
- Greenstop Lodge is a rough cosmopolis full of energy, crime, and opportunity. It is a little more lawless than most cosmopoli, in part because the ruling family, the Gatherer Greens, do not actually live in the city full-time. Rather, most of them spend their time deep within the forested nature reserves that make up much of the island’s interior. They are a dark and grim lot, less comfortable with the affairs of state than with hunting game or killing unwanted Archons who attempt to meddle in their affairs. Polite society in other cosmopoli are often scandalized by their activities, and invite that to the minimum of functions, a fact that suits the Gatherer Greens just fine. Greenstop Lodge is independent.
- Iridium Bay
- Iridium Bay has an excellent natural port and have a reputation for shipbuilding, and it seems like everyone of their Many has been a sailor at some point in their lives. Small but fiercely independent, the cosmopolis reluctantly joined the Kairos Covenant for military reasons.
- What seems like the ends of the Earth to most Tehomin is the center of life for the Retenu Chain. It is usually a sleeping cosmopolis that is not well maintained, but that all changes for two months in the dry season when it becomes the meeting ground for all the Sorts to establish policy and figure out politics. During that time, the city becomes a massive carnival of revelry and intrigue. Some from the Course find this an incredible sight that needs to be experienced at least once, but many just find it insane. Parley is mostly independent, though some Sorts are beginning to wonder if they should ally with Beacon, the Covenant, or Thaimbase.
- Patience is a wealthy cosmopolis that uses most of its wealth to maintain the stasis chamber that contains its patron hero Molyvdos . The citizens of Patience believe that Molyvdos will one day awaken and lead Patience to glory, though some in other cosmopolis wonder why it has taken him several centuries to regenerate, and suspect he is either dead or in a permanent vegetative state. Patience is aligned with Thaimbase.
- Pinnacle is the grandest cosmopolis of them all. Just as people from Pinnacle, and they will happily tell you. Irritatingly, they are probably right. It is the largest, the most wealthy, and the most powerful. Its aristocracy of legacies goes back to William Goodguide, a founding member of the Stormward Council. Pinnacle is conservative, arrogant, yet invested in matters of honor and justice much more sincerely than some other cosmopoli. Together with former rival Srimec City, it founded the Kairos Covenant to defend against both the military advances of Thaimbase, and the ideological corruption of the Anarchy.
- PC Cosmopolis, as defined by Alice Sara (Link)
- Silver Strong
- Silver Strong has become a hub of finance in the North. Its bankers ask few questions when creating bank accounts or establishing lines of credit. It is infamous for sending its Creditor Council to collect debts by any means necessary. Always working within the law of established contracts, they will viciously threaten and beat and humiliate as much money as they can from debtors who fall behind on their payments. Silver Strong is currently independent, but it is in negotiations with Thaimbase.
- Once called Deltaport, Thaimbase is the headquarters of the brutal Lord General Reisha Thaime, an Archon of unknown origin who forcibly took over the cosmopolis years ago. In addition to his own vast array of powers, he has the ability to turn members of the Many into “meta-men”, enhanced warriors who share a psychic bond both with themselves and with Thaim.
- Thaimbase has stabilized and is actively seeking to dominate and influence as much of the Set as possible. They have allied with Patience, and they have taken over Calmport. And now, through a combination of archonic wars and diplomatic envoys, they have set their eyes on establishing a foothold in the North.
- PC cosmopolis as defined by Aliexster (Link)